KATHMANDU: The All Nepal Football Association has shortlisted 27 players for a closed camp on the eve of Nepal's AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers match against the Philippines.

Nepal's Japanese Head Coach Gyotoku Koji decided to trim the shortlist down to 27 players as the team moves closer for its first match in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers, according to ANFA. A preliminary list of 36 players was earlier announced and after training for about four weeks.

Nepal are scheduled to face the Philippines at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 28 in the first leg of the tournament.

Nepal's prolific striker Nawayug Shrestha, however, has been ruled out of the tournament due to foot injuries. Midfielder Rohit Chand, on the other hand,  has made a comeback to the national team. He was shortlist from among 36 players after he recovered from a a niggling knee injury.

Newcomers Bishow Adhikari, Bimal Panday, Yubraj Khadka and Ravishankar Paswan all missed out while Bimal Basnet made it to the roster.

Shrestha was hailed for his goal scoring talent at the Bangabandhu Cup in Bangladesh last year, the 12th South Asian Games in India and the AFC Solidarity Cup in Malaysia.

The squad would be reporting to the camp in Satdobato from March 13 onwards, ANFA said in a statement. But Hemanta Thapa Magar, Sunil Bal, Dipak Gurung and Dinesh Rajbanshi will not be reporting to the camp on Monday.

Nepal, Philippines, Tajikistan and Yemen are in the Group F of the tournament.


Squad

Goalkeepers: Bikesh Kuthu, Kiran Limbu, Bishal Shrestha, Alan Neupane,

Defenders: Rabin Shrestha, Biraj Maharjan, Ananta Tamang, Adwitiya Chaudhary, Kamal Shrestha, Debendra Tamang, Ranjit Dhimal, Jitendra Karki, Bimal Basnet and Man Bahadur Tamang.

Midfielders: Bishal Rai, Heman Gurung, Bikram Lama, Anjan Bista, Sujal Shrestha, Suman Lama, Rajendra Rawal and Rohit Chand

Forwards: Bimal Gharti Magar, Ranjan Bista, Bharat Khawas, Anil Gurung and Karna Limbu.


 

Matches on March 28

Philippines v Nepal at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, Manila

Yemen v Tajikistan at Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha